Advancement and Merit Badges, Rev. 2011

 

First Class - First Year

It is Troop 58’s goal to help each new Scout earn First Class rank in his first year with the Troop. Informal studies and review of Troop records indicate that 80% of all new Scouts quit the Troop by the end of their second year if they do not make it to the First Class plateau by the end of their first year. That number jumps to 90% by the end of the third year and practically 100% after the fourth year.

This program is not intended to force a Scout to advance against his will but rather to ensure that he sees everything that Scouting has to offer. Boys are still free to earn merit badges and other awards at their own pace.

Questions about the First Class - First Year program should be directed to the Scoutmaster.

Life to Eagle

The Troop has an Eagle Scout Advisor who is responsible for guiding Life Scouts through the process of becoming an Eagle Scout. Completing the Eagle Rank requirements can be a long and arduous task. There are a number of rules and procedures not used in the lower ranks..

Life Scouts are encouraged to meet with the Eagle Scout Advisor as often as necessary throughout the process to ensure that all requirements are met properly.

Scoutmaster Conferences

Scoutmaster Conferences are held by appointment. Scoutmaster conferences are required in order to advance in rank. If the Scoutmaster is not available an Assistant Scoutmaster may perform the conference in an emergency. It should be noted that procrastination is not considered an emergency. A Scout should request a conference personally after all rank requirements have been met and well in advance (at least three weeks) of an upcoming Court of Honor. A Scout should report for a conference in full Class A uniform with his Official Boy Scout Handbook, or completed Eagle paperwork

Board of Review 

Boards of Review (BOR) are required for each rank advanced and are held after the scoutmaster Conference. BOR for all ranks except Eagle are held at the Troop level. They are held prior to all Courts of Honor and as necessary throughout the year. A typical Board of Review consists of three members of the Troop committee. Scouts are responsible to contact the advancement chair personally to schedule a BOR well in advance of any Court of Honor (at least three weeks).

These reviews are not intended to re-test Scouts on the skills they have mastered; however, this may occur from time-to-time. Rather, they are a chance to gauge the Scout’s growth in the Scouting program. They also help a Scout grow accustomed to speaking with a group of people in an interview setting.

Boards of Review are complete Class A uniform events. Merit badge sashes are encouraged; however, please remember that this is not an Order of the Arrow event and OA sashes should not be worn. A Scout’s failure to appear in uniform, to bring his Official Boy Scout Handbook, or to complete rank requirements are all causes for postponement of a Board of Review.

Merit Badges  

Merit badges are earned by satisfying a prescribed set of requirements for the badge. A Scout must first discuss with the Scoutmaster his intention to work on a specific merit badge. If the Scoutmaster deems this acceptable, he/she will give the Scout a signed merit badge application (a “blue card”) and offer the Scout guidance on which merit badge counselor to contact.

 

The Scout must then personally contact the counselor and meet with the counselor to present his work, discuss the topic of the merit badge, or to ask questions.  This may require several meetings with the counselor, depending upon the merit badge and how much assistance the Scout requires. When all the requirements are satisfied, the counselor will sign the blue card and retain a portion of it.  The Scout then brings the remainder of the card to his Scoutmaster to sign again.  It is then filed with the Advancement Chair, who will register the badge with the Council, purchase the patch, keep a portion of the card with the troop's records and return the Scout's portion of the card to him when the patch is presented. 

 

At the next Court of Honor, a certificate of merit badge completion is awarded to the Scout, together with his patch.  The certificate, or the signed blue card, is proof of having earned the award.  The patch, itself, is NOT proof.  It is strongly recommended that each Scout keep all his signed blue cards and certificates in his 3-ring binder.  When applying for the Eagle rank, proof of earning each merit badge will be required.

 

 

 

Troop 58 is fortunate to have several involved members of our Troop serving as merit badge counselors. We keep a list on hand. Also, we have access to the Council list of approved merit badge counselors.

 

Our view of the merit badge process is that maximum benefit is obtained when the Scout initiates the process of earning a merit badge by personally contacting the merit badge counselor and mutually scheduling the completion of requirements. Boys learn how to communicate, to schedule, to organize, and to complete requirements with an adult merit badge counselor registered with Troop 58.

 

Troop 58 will occasionally offer Scouts the opportunity to complete a merit badge as a Troop activity during Troop meetings or on weekends. However, each Scout is expected to complete each requirement as listed in the merit badge book.

No parent/guardian can sign advancement

Troop 58 is blessed with a very good Scoutmaster, several very good Assistant Scoutmasters and active Troop Committee members. As such, there will always be an adult, not related to the Scout, available to sign off on advancements in the BSA handbook.

However, consistent with BSA policy, a parent may be a merit badge counselor for a Scout and sign his “Blue Card”.

Courts of Honor

Each year the Troop holds several Courts of Honor to recognize each Scout’s personal achievements. The September event is the annual ‘kick-off dinner’ at which we recognize advancements and merit badges earned over the summer and enjoy a ‘pot-luck’ dinner. The June event is our end-of- the-year picnic. Both events include a year-in review slide show. All members of the Troop 58 family are strongly encouraged to attend.

Eagle Scout Court of Honor

Whenever a Scout earns his Eagle Award, a special Eagle Scout Court of Honor is convened. Due to the time needed to arrange guest speakers and congratulatory letters, an Eagle Court of Honor requires significant advanced planning. An Eagle Scout Court of Honor represents a significant milestone in a Scout’s life and, as such, any family and friends of the new Eagle should be invited. Eagle Scouts of all ages are extended an open invitation whether they have an affiliation with the Troop or not. This event is hosted by the Eagle Scout’s family at a venue secured by them.

 

 

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